4 killed in Samar encounter
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two Army officers and two suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas were killed while another trooper was wounded in an encounter in the outskirts of Calbayog City,  Samar on Friday.

The military withheld the identities of the slain officers until after their families are notified.

The fatalities were among three wounded soldiers who were taken to a nearest hospital for treatment.

Their remains were taken to Camp Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City.

The wounded officer, identified as Cpl. Eric Portalio, was transferred to a hospital located at the camp.

The firefight erupted at around 7:15 a.m. as a team from the Army’s 43rd Infantry Battalion (IB) were responding to a report about the presence of seven armed men in Barangay Olera.

The men were reportedly extorting money and food from the villagers.

Maj. Bard Caesar Mazo, spokesman for the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said the men opened fire at the approaching soldiers.

“The firefight lasted for almost two hours. The rebels escaped, taking with them their wounded comrades. They left behind their two slain companions,” Mazo said.

Soldiers recovered two rifles and the bodies of two rebels at the scene of the encounter. 

Meanwhile, in Ilocos Sur, Army soldiers captured an alleged NPA supply depot in the hinterlands of Narvacan town.

Seized from the area were 45 kilos of rice and a sack containing assorted goods such as flour, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and cooking oil, according to Lt. Col. Rodrigo Marinas, chief of the Army’s 81st IB based in the town of Sta. Cruz. – With Miriam Desacada, Artemio Dumlao

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